Melody Jones Author and President of the Western Colorado Writers' Forum

Melody Jones


Melody Jones is a published writer and poet, speaker, crafter, coffee enthusiast, lover of beagles, and Colorado native. A Palisade girl, she returned to the western slope in February 2021 after 30 years in the Denver metro area.

After a 20-year career in social work working with at-risk youth in the foster care system, she became involved in various writer and author groups on Colorado’s Front Range.

Back in 2010, Melody realized there was a true need for social media help in the writer world, and an accidental entrepreneur was born. She provides consultation, social media management, workshops, trainings, retreats, and conference presentations on all things social media, with a special focus on writers and authors. She’s presented at Lighthouse Writers and the Colorado Gold Conference, among others, and still works in social media on a limited basis.

Melody was the founder of Colorado Women in Social Media, a collaboration of female solopreneurs working together in support of each other and the community as a whole. CWSM drew one of the largest ever standing-room-only audiences for a presentation at Denver Startup Week. This group is now concluded.

Melody served as Vice President and Communications Chair for the Denver Woman’s Press Club from 2019-2021. Her current role there is social media consultant and manager.

She now creates social media graphics for writers and authors here.

To her great delight, she won first place in the Mesa County Library Poetry Contest in May 2022. Read her winning poem The Sun and The Moon here.

Currently, Melody hosts Writer Chicks Coffee Club Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. at Main Street Bagels in Grand Junction.

She is working on a poetry chapook with a theme around a serious issue in today’s world, addiction. She currently facilitates Butt in Seat Writing Group in Grand Junciton. She has other endeavors in the works.

Find out more at her website:

Follow her on social media: Facebook; Instagram; LinkedIn.

John Lanci

John Lanci

Vice President

Born and raised in upstate New York, John taught for over thirty years at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts, where he remains a professor emeritus in the department of Religious Studies. He holds degrees in classics, ministry, and religion from NYU, Notre Dame, and Harvard. After retiring, he moved to Grand Junction in 2020 to be closer to his family and to finally enjoy life in high desert country after decades of high humidity, lush mosquito-harboring vegetation, weeks of cloudy days, and periodic hurricanes. He has published two books and a monograph on the Bible as well as a number of academic articles on religion and pedagogy. Now he writes for fun.

John took on the role of Interim Treasurer for most of 2022 and is now enjoying his role as Vice President in 2023.


Kate Beagle


As a Grand Junction native and local business owner, Kate cares deeply for our community and the people who call it home. As the owner, bookkeeper, and office manager of HBJ’s Grooming, she spends her days serving this city’s four-legged residents. Yet by night, she reads voraciously, and writes with just as much passion. As a reader from an early age, Kate has always loved fictional worlds. Now, she builds her own, hoping to blur the line between science fiction and fantasy with her current work-in-progress, Blackbird.

When she isn’t escaping to a far-flung future, Kate is a wife, mom, and dog-parent who loves to explore the natural wonders of the Grand Valley. An avid camper, fisher, and cross-country skier, she hopes to one day visit all 63 of America’s Great National Parks!

Though Kate is new to the Writer’s Forum, she is thrilled for the opportunity to both work with and learn from her fellow writers of the Western Slope.


Madison Hadley


Madison Hadley is a long-time book lover and has enjoyed writing her own book over this last year. She started writing in elementary school and more seriously in college. She is currently finishing her BA in English and Creative Writing.

Madison is a full-time paramedic and during her free time she enjoys reading (of course), writing, painting, video gaming, and backpacking. She also loves to spend time with her cat, Te oaoa, and caring for her plant babies.

“My first book where I could remember that feeling you get when you immerse yourself completely into the world of imagination was Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It came out in 2008 and I read it that following year (I was 10 years old). I can’t express how I felt finding something so special as reading at such a young age. Twilight helped shape and mold me into the reader and writer I am today.”

Adrienne Cascarella

Adrienne Cascarella


A Philadelphia native and a lover of all arts, Adrienne has been writing poetry, prose and scripts as well as acting, dancing, singing, and playing guitar for the better part of her life. Adrienne views art as a mirror reflecting the world’s joy, pain, rage and love so that we may more clearly see, better understand and grow from it.


Christie Matherne


Christie Matherne is a published writer, editor, photographer, and journalist. A South Louisiana native and newcomer to the Grand Valley, Christie has been busy exploring the amazing trails and parks in her new city of Grand Junction. She is tickled to have the Colorado River in her backyard, along with an eighteen-foot canoe, a dog, a cat, and a husband, who are all usually in the backyard too.

Christie has a BA in English/Creative Writing. After a couple post-college years interviewing everyone from Ice Cube to John Waters asĀ an alt-weekly editor, she jumped into the freelance world with both feet. Sometimes she landed in various watercraft, floating down rivers and writing about it; other times she found herself swimming in five different pots of gumbo. She currently writes and edits personal finance content for, and pitches stories to 64 Parishes and Country Roads Magazine in Louisiana, among other things.

Christie is thrilled to be on the WCWF board and involved in WCWF’s mission, as she believes that everyone can find power and truth in writing and literature.


Mary Watson


Since 2000 Mary Watson has been evaluating and sharing written critiques with hundreds of writers, speakers, and presenters through various public speaking and educational events. Mary spent three years in Benin, West Africa teaching and presenting events. She has been a successful public speaker and continuously motivates adults as well as youth through Toastmasters programs/events, Ignite Grand Junction!, TEDxGrandJunction, and several Communication and Leadership Workshops.